Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Management.xml Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Management

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DiplomaFull-time, 1 year

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)

Programme code



$6,200 - $7,100






Course related costs

Advised on enrolment



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

Please enquire



About this programme

Turn your passion for outdoor adventure into an opportunity to work as an outdoor instructor or guide in New Zealand or overseas.

With a focus on teaching and learning, this programme will enhance your technical and adventure skills and develop your instructional skills through real-life practical experiences.

In addition to developing your bush and general adventuring skills (plus skills for your two selected outdoor pursuits chosen from kayaking, mountaineering and rock climbing), you'll also learn about pre-hospital emergency care (PHEC), risk management, environmental science, facilitation and leadership, and working with different client groups (disabled, different cultures, youth at risk).

Note: In addition to the diploma you may also gain at least two industry awards (PHEC, Avalanche Awareness, and at least one New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association Leader Award) that will be dependent on your electives chosen and these would further enhance employment opportunities.

You'll study within a 'full immersion' environment where strong mentoring from staff means you'll be given a lot of responsibility in terms of instructing local schools and community groups. You'll work with a range of client groups and in doing this you'll gain real experience that will help you secure your career goals.

Please check with programme leader for course availability.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of this programme you will be able to seek work in the adventure tourism industry and outdoor instruction roles with schools or outdoor education centres.

Study pathways

You could further your studies with the Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education.

Recommended school subjects

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • For entry to this diploma programme you require completion of the Certificate in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 4), or equivalent qualification, or evidence of equivalent outdoor skills and experience.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • We will also ask you to submit:

    • A current first aid certificate (Red Cross Comprehensive or St John's Workplace) which is current at the time the programme starts.
    • Successful applicants will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Consent to Disclosure of Information form depending on their placement. The form will be sent to the Police Licensing and Vetting Service, and returned in confidence to the Head of Department. Information on the NZ Police Vetting Service is available from the New Zealand Police website.
    • You must be capable of swimming a minimum of 50 metres, and be able to carry a full overnight tramping pack on multi day trips. You must also submit a log showing that within the last five years you have undertaken a minimum of 20 days of outdoor recreational activity including multi-day activities e.g. camping, tramping or a related activity.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study.

    Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Next steps

To apply for this programme please complete an Admission and Enrolment form or an International Application form.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Please note: Programme delivery is conditional on enrolments reaching a minimum requirement.

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.